On Tuesday 6 October, the Treasurer, The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, delivered the delayed 2020–21 Federal Budget, his second Budget.
How times change. In April last year, Mr Frydenberg delivered a Budget that was forecast to produce a surplus. Now, thanks largely to the economic shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is faced with record deficits and high unemployment.
The Government’s response is a Budget that is “all about jobs”, “helping those who are out of a job get into a job” and “helping those that are in work, stay in work”. Mr Frydenberg said “there is no economic recovery without a jobs recovery” and “no budget recovery without a jobs recovery”.
To that end, the government is spending a lot of money – both directly and indirectly (bringing forward the 2022–23 tax cuts and providing incentives for business to hire and invest). The Government’s overall “response and recovery support” is $507 billion, including $257 billion in direct economic support.
But it may not end there. As Treasury points out, there remains substantial uncertainty around the global and domestic outlook, including around the spread of the coronavirus, future outbreaks, as well as timing and efficacy of vaccines and other medical treatments. Only time will tell if the measures in this Budget are sufficient and/or well targeted.
Read our complete 2020-21 Special Budget Edition Newsletter here.